eBay, Upgrades To Australian Site, Designed To Boost Usability For Sellers: Internet

eBay to boost usability of Australian site for sellers

By Michelle Hammond
Friday, 16 March 2012

eBay will make improvements and upgrades to its Australian site, including changes to its pictures service and fewer insertion fee tiers, in a bid to boost the usability of the site for sellers.


As of May 2 this year, sellers will be able to post pictures with their items free of charge – a service that previously required a fee.


Sellers will receive 12 free pictures on every listing. eBay’s “supersize” feature will be free – enabling sellers to upload larger pictures – and the Gallery Plus feature will also be free.


This means when buyers hover over a picture on the search results page, an enlarged image will appear, meaning the buyer can view the picture without having to enter the listing.


Another new free service will be no insertion fees for a seller’s first 30 listings per month.


The simplification of the fee structure is intended to make it easier for sellers to calculate their costs, enticing them to post more listings. Flat final value fees will change to the following:

  • Sellers without a store will pay a 7.9% flat final value fee with a $100 cap per item.
  • Featured store subscribers will pay a 7% flat final value fee with a $100 cap per item.
  • Anchor store subscribers will pay a 6% flat final value fee with a $100 cap per item.

eBay also plans to remove several listing upgrade features, and have fewer insertion fee tiers for sellers without a store who exceed the allotted 30 free listings per month.


There will also be fewer insertion fees for auction-style listings within stores.


“One thing about having an eBay business is calculating the cost of sales,” eBay spokesperson Sandy Culkoff says.


“eBay had this complicated, tiered, sliding scale, so we looked at simplifying this. If sellers can do that more accurately, it will hopefully entice them to put more inventory on the site.”


Michael Fox, co-founder of online retailer Shoes of Prey, says start-ups should treat eBay no differently to other online channels – test it, measure the results and review your strategy.


“eBay is a great place for a new online retailer to test their products, and if it’s working for you then you should stick with it, even if you end up opening your own store,” Fox says.


“If you’re not getting the return on investment you’re looking for, then you either need to change your strategy on eBay or look to other platforms.”


Late last year, eBay launched a fashion-specific platform for local brands. Almost 30 labels can now sell through a specific section of the eBay site, known as the “Fashion Gallery”.


While this section is currently limited to major labels – including Witchery and Alannah Hill – eBay has indicated that smaller retailers may also be able to sell items in the Fashion Gallery.


However, it hasn’t confirmed when this is likely to happen.

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As far as buying/saving on eBay goes:

If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. May be telling them that they would not have to wait as long to get their money (they would probably know that, but it still might help). If that does not work, use a sniping service such as to bid for you. It'll bid in the last few seconds, helping you to save money and avoid shill bidding.

If there is a particular item that you want that is relatively rare on eBay or goes fast when one is listed, use to set up a saved eBay search for it. You'd get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. You can use the price, category, exclude word, etc. filters to narrow down the list of results that you receive in the e-mails. Excellent for "Buy It Now"s priced right.

If the item that you are looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like to hopefully find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers may never see them.
ChrisP , March 18, 2012
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